Marvel Collector Corps Ant-Man Box Proves Good Things Come in Themed Packages
This month, the second themed box of goodies from Funko's Marvel Collector Corps is shipping out. Focused solely on upcoming underdog hero (not just in persona, but potentially at the box office as well), the Ant-Man box brings more of the tried and true Funko flavor to your home. I was a bit skeptical about this month's shipment, just as I'm skeptical about the strength of the Ant-Man feature film. I have no real allegiance to the character, but the mysterious nature of the Collector Corps schedule (boxes are revealed slowly throughout the year) means I'm subject to the possibility of a box full of goods that I may not be all that excited about.
Though I'm still on the fence about Ant-Man's silver screen future, even in spite of handsome goofball star Paul Rudd, the contents of the latest Marvel Collector Corps box didn't disappoint. I suppose my tempered attitude was for naught. I know the kind of products Funko makes, and since that company is the driving force behind the Collector Corps' contents, there was little need to fret about disappointment. Let's dig in.
Like the Age of Ultron box, the Ant-Man packaging is specifically tailored to the character's comic roots. Clayton Henry's Ant-Man art (you know, the screaming headshot that's all over place) makes for a bold exterior, while the inside is fitted with more classic art from Ant-Man's earlier days. Though I'm not terribly versed in classic Ant-Man comics, it would appear this art comes from Scott Lang's (and Darren Cross') first appearance in Marvel Premiere, with art from John Byrne.
Doing this much design on a box is completely unnecessary; most subscribers will likely just be going for the goodies inside and discard the shipping container without much thought. That Funko is adding flourishes wherever it can to really make these boxes more than just a cardboard collectible delivery apparatus is welcome.
Beneath the lid, there is again a patch and pin decorated with the face of the inspiration behind this box, Ant-Man. These pins and patches are nice, and well executed, but they hold little value for me. I've just never been a pin and patch guy.
The real treasures of this box lie beneath the first layer, where the exclusive Pop figure, two limited Mystery Minis, a t-shirt and a variant comic lie. Each Collector Corps box comes with a Pop figure that cannot be found anywhere else, and the Ant-Man figure is unique in that it's actually two Pops in one. First, you get the standard-sized unmasked Ant-Man, which is a fine piece. While the head sculpt is nothing out of the ordinary for Funko, the body is quite impressive. There's a great level of detail in the Ant-Man costume, and Funko captures it all. What's more, the paint app is fantastic for such a minute piece.
Also in the Pop package is what Funko is calling the smallest bobblehead Pop ever. The miniaturized Ant-Man is an adorable little bugger, and it too is rather detailed. It's not really fair to call it a bobblehead though, as it's just an oversized head with no spring to bounce. While it does wobble if you move it with your own hands, there's little wiggle in the figure beyond that. Still, it balances well for such an itty-bitty figure, and is the real star of this month's box. Would Funko have included the little Ant-Man on its own, I probably wouldn't have been disappointed, but the bigger Pop being in there does add some value.
The two Mystery Minis included each have a chance of being one of four different figures. I managed to get one Unmasked Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, but missed out on the Blackout Ant-Man and Helmeted Ant-Man. Sculpts on both are solid, with Yellowjacket drawing a bit higher marks for the complexity of that suit. The simple paint app is executed well, and he does look menacing despite his miniaturized nature.
The Ant-Man's sculpt and paint are almost on point as well, but the face on my Ant-Man missed the mark by a few millimeters. You can see where the eyes and mouth were supposed to be painted on versus where they actually landed when you look close enough. It's not very drastic, but it is noticeable and a bit disappointing when so much else in the box has gone right.
Instead of multiple types of random t-shirts being included in this box, Funko opted for a standard Ant-Man tee. It's nice and simple, and I actually like the design a bit more due to its more Spartan style. The Ant-Man logo is dead center on the upper chest, and beneath sits a cartoon version of the bite-sized Ant-Man Pop figure. There wasn't really anything wrong with the Ultron shirts, but for my taste, this is a lot less loud and thus better suited for my personal style.
As to the variant comic, this was the biggest disappointment in the box. We were given a Jim Cheung cover to Ant-Man #5, which was a fine enough story. The problem was that the cover to the issue had a lot of weathering due to the contents of the box riding on top of it for however long they were all trapped in there.
Now, I'm not a guy that's worried about getting books CGC 9.8 graded, and I actually liked the issue itself. However, it's a small quality assurance issue that could easily have been addressed, and that's what's a little annoying about it. When so much else is positive, the little things stand out that much more.
So far, Funko and Marvel are two for two with the Collector Corps subscription. Thus far though, the boxes have had the fortune of two Marvel Studios' films releasing just in the nick of time. How the final two boxes play out in 2015 will mean a lot for the MCC's future, and I'm really interested to see how Funko handles not having a major movie to back the box throughout the remainder of the year. If one of the boxes is merely to celebrate the home video release of Age of Ultron, I'll be a bit disappointed. Let's hope we see some creativity.
This box was provided for review. The Marvel Collector Corps subscription runs $25 per box, and you can sign up over on the official site if you wish to join.
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